Asheville-based Avadim Technologies announced an expansion to Black Mountain. Company officials say the move will create 551 jobs and include $25 million in investments.

UPDATED: 551 jobs, $25 million in investment­s coming to Black Mountain

Asheville-based Avadim Technologies is expanding to Black Mountain in a move company officials say will create 551 jobs and bring more than $25 million in capital investment. Ben Teague, executive director of Economic Development Coalition, says it’s the largest single job announcement during his tenure, and possibly the largest in the history of Buncombe County. County […]

DOWN ON MAIN STREET: With housing options limited within Asheville city limits, current residents and newcomers to the mountains are increasingly looking towards the surrounding small towns and communities as a place to settle down or launch a new business. In response, towns across WNC are managing the opportunities, and challenges, that come with growth. Photo by Max Hunt

Main Street renaissanc­e: WNC’s small towns confront growth, change

Asheville may be a top dream destination for many folks, but for an increasing number of newcomers and old-timers alike, the No. 1 dream destination may be just down the road a ways. With the challenges of urbanization besetting Asheville, newcomers and locals alike are turning to surrounding towns and communities in search of cheaper […]

RETURN OF THE RAIL: For more than 20 years, a collective of WNC communities between Asheville and Salisbury have strived for the return of regular passenger rail service into the region. At a March 2 meeting, the WNC Rail Corridor Committee outlined a new three-pronged strategy to reinvigorate freight service, expand excursion train opportunities and explore a pilot thruway bus service into the region through Amtrak. Photo by Max Hunt

WNC Rail Corridor Committee hatches new strategy

For more than 20 years, the WNC Rail Corridor Committee has worked tirelessly to prove the economic viability of restoring the historic rail link between Salisbury and Asheville. With changes in the rail industry looming and younger travelers showing increased interest in train travel, the committee is partnering with towns and municipalities and freight rail companies to pursue a new, three-pronged strategy.

Small town competition levels

Small-scale democracy: Small town elections offer intriguing possibilit­ies, but few options

“The best cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.” — Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness The affluent little town of Chevy Chase, Maryland, population 2,918, was rocked earlier this year when a surprise write-in candidate garnered 168 votes to displace an unopposed incumbent. The town attorney and Ethics Commission were […]

Miles Wide

Smart bets: Miles Wide

The term “independent musician” doesn’t quite convey the extent of Kyle Donovan’s dedication to the do-it-yourself ethos. Performing under the name Miles Wide, the self-taught musician acts as his own manager, recording engineer, Web developer, graphic designer, press contact, booking agent and social media correspondent.

A 500 acre fire tore through the slopes above Ridgecrest on Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday at noon, the fire has been 50% contained.

UPDATED The morning after: Photos from the Black Mountain/R­idgecrest Wildfire

Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, a brush fire caused by unknown sources in the Ridgecrest area of Buncombe County erupted across the ridgeline. Spurred by gusty winds and dry conditions, the blaze soon spread across the mountains bordering Black Mountain, destroying several homes and forcing residents to flee to safety as state and federal Park Service officials, along with firefighters from across Western North Carolina, came in droves to battle the wildfire.